Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ferilla?! or Conan and the allegation of remakes part II

Last night I wrote Conan and the allegation of remakes, as you can probably see.

So, this morning, I was a little distressed to find in my email box a note saying "Jovanka Vuckovic also commented on her status" that inside read, "Sadly, there's more to the remake news than you may want to know, Mr. Sarver."

Since then I've been uncontrollably walking around with an "I just smelled a fart" face.

Allow me to make a note here.

I'd happily spend a week eating Ramen in order to lay $10 down on a Conan movie . I'd do so less happily if the movie was by the likes of Brett Ratner, but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't do it.

For the time being, I can afford a movie ticket and decent food, mind you, but I'm making a point.

How could a studio then find a way to get me to spend my $10 elsewhere then? It's almost a puzzle. I suppose they could cast Eddie Deezen in the lead.

They could also simply remake Conan the Barbarian. There's $10 I can spend elsewhere, thank you very much.

Mind you, there is an exception to this.

I've known for a lot of years, and many of you probably know this too, that there was an original screenplay by Oliver Stone that was deemed to expensive to make. That screenplay fits in amongst a long list of alternate movies that never existed that I wish also existed. Also on that list A Clockwork Orange starring The Rolling Stones.

If I were hired to direct a Conan movie - and this isn't even wishful thinking, I swear, just rhetorical hypothesizing - and someone pulled out that screenplay and suggested that as the source. I'd consider it for about three seconds before deciding it wasn't the best idea. Mind you, I'd then say I'd consider it and go home and read the screenplay, but not because I was seriously considering it, just because I could. So, no, I don't actually think that's a good idea, but like the Ratner movie, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't part with the $10 if they did make it.

Assuming this is on the table, and Ms. Vuckovic follows these things for a living, and I've basically given up following these things as an amateur, so I'll assume there's something to it, it's safe to guess that the plan is nowhere near that cool. There's just some hack screenwriters trying to restructure the plot of the finished movie into the more rigid - and painfully dull - structures that all Hollywood movies are tied to in recent years, and doing nothing to improve on the material at all. It'll be the same story, only now dull as dishwater.


Here I'll repeat, "Look, Conan only exists in one place really, between the pages of The Coming of Conan, The Bloody Crown of Conan and The Conquering Sword of Conan (or other volumes containing the same material)."

This is important because ultimately it doesn't matter how stupid the decisions made regarding future movies may be. Those books remain and they remain better than any of the movies made, and are likely to remain better than any movies that will be made in the future. They are in print and y'all really should read them... or read them again dammit!

Ultimately, there are a couple of dozen of original stories by Robert E. Howard, there are dozens and dozens more pastiche stories written and even more dozens of stories written for comics. This is without even touching the possibility of making something up. Without discounting my own love of the John Milius movie, a few of those, especially the Howard stories, are actually better stories than that movie, and even more exciting than the possibility of being better, they'd be fresh, new and exciting for an audience.

I'm sure the "logic", such as it is, behind this thinking involves "proven" material. Suffice it to say, the original Howard stories have been thrilling readers for 75 years now. What more proof should a story need?


Jovanka Vuckovic said...

You know, I figure if they can remake RoboCop, they can remake anything with impunity. Sigh.

Let's hope it, along with Conan, never really gets off the ground.

Neil Sarver said...


And thanks for stopping by and commenting!

I have heard of but haven't addressed the RoboCop issue here.

What's weird to me... It should be no secret that I'm a big dorky fan of Conan and RoboCop. I have and would expect to pay money to see all sorts of things just because their names are on them.

So, I have to confess, they aren't trying to appeal to me. I'm the guy who'll watch "RoboCop Takes a Nap" or "Conan Shaves His Legs", so studios thinking "How can we get Neil, and folks like him, to see our movie?" is a waste of time.

So, a person almost has to have a grudging respect for them both using the one idea that makes me pretty unlikely to bother getting out of my chair and paying my money.

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